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Canada’s pay gap

October 30, 2014 Comments off

Canada’s pay gap
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A new CCPA study, Narrowing the Gap: The difference pubic sector wages make, compares the wages of full-time public and private sector workers and finds significant gaps in the wages of women, aboriginal workers, and visible minority workers. Those gaps are bigger in the private sector in every instance:

  • University educated aboriginal workers make 44% less than their non-aboriginal peers in the private sector. In the public sector, their wage gap shrinks to 14%.
  • University educated women working in the private sector earn 27% less than men. Their wage gap in the public sector is 18%.
  • University educated visible minority workers take home 20% less than their non-visible minority counterparts. In the public sector, their wage gap is 12%.

Salaries are higher in the public sector precisely for those groups of people who experience the greatest discrimination in the private sector—because the public sector goes further in correcting those discriminatory practices. The result is not higher wages but rather a more equitable system of pay.

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Study Reveals a Compelling Wage Garnishment Profile

October 30, 2014 Comments off

Study Reveals a Compelling Wage Garnishment Profile
Source: ADP

Wage garnishment – the legal recovery of debt through the seizure of employee pay – is increasing in the United States. Since 2005, garnishments are up 121% in Phoenix; 55% in Atlanta since 2004; and 30% in Cleveland, between 2008 and 2009. The increase apparently stems from a growing population of debtors, and creditors who are more likely to sue to recover money they have lent and is overdue. To supply employers with accurate, detailed information to help them understand and react to the challenges of debt recovery, the ADP Research Institute®, a specialized group within ADP®, studied 13 million active employees, ages 16 and older in 2013. The study delves into aggregated, anonymous payroll data, highlighting a U.S. wage garnishment profile that is revealed across multiple categories, ranging from industries to size of business. The garnishment rate represents the proportion of employees having their wages garnished in that particular category.

Boosting the Life Chances of Young Men of Color

October 30, 2014 Comments off

Boosting the Life Chances of Young Men of Color
Source: MDRC

Despite progress on many fronts, young men of color still face many obstacles to success in American society and suffer disproportionately from economic and social disadvantage. In recent years, foundations and state and local governments have launched major initiatives to address this pressing issue. For example, in 2011, the City of New York created the Young Men’s Initiative, a $42-million annual program, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundation, to invest in the success of the city’s young men of color. In February of this year, the Obama Administration announced “My Brother’s Keeper,” a multimillion-dollar push by the government, foundations, and businesses to “build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of boys and young men of color.”

In light of the momentum building to improve the fortunes of young men of color, this review takes a look at what is known about this population and highlights programs that are shown by rigorous research to be making a difference. It first examines the special challenges and struggles of these young men in the labor market, including problems related to their disproportionate involvement in the criminal justice system and their experiences in the educational system. A growing number of young men of color have become disconnected from the positive systems, institutions, and pathways designed to help people achieve success — high school diplomas, enrollment in and completion of postsecondary education or training, and ultimately career ladders leading to well-paying jobs.

Given these facts, the natural next question is: What can be done? Does this group of young men constitute, as some have labeled them, a “lost generation”? Or are there interventions that can provide real hope and real results? Can the nation’s institutions do a better job of increasing educational and labor market opportunity? Is there, in fact, a way to move away from deficit-focused characterizations of young men of color to ones that recognize and build on their resilience and strengths?

The second section of the paper reviews the results from high-quality, randomized controlled trials involving young men of color, some conducted by MDRC and some by other groups. It highlights a number of promising interventions, casting doubt on the conventional wisdom that nothing can be done.

2014 Minimum Wage by State

October 30, 2014 Comments off

2014 Minimum Wage by State
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Summary

  • Minimum wages will go up in nine states on Jan. 1, 2015 because of indexed increases in their state law: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington.
  • 38 states introduced minimum wage bills during the 2014 session; 34 states considered increases to the state minimum wage.
    Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and D.C. have enacted increases during the 2014 session.
  • As of Aug. 1, 2014, 23 states and D.C. have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage.
  • 18 states, Guam, and the Virgin Islands have minimum wages the same as the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
  • 3 states, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico have minimum wages below the federal minimum wage (the federal minimum thus applies).
  • 1 state, New Hampshire, repealed their state minimum wage in 2011, but left the reference to the federal minimum wage.
  • 5 states have not established a state minimum wage.

The Equity Solution: Racial Inclusion Is Key to Growing a Strong New Economy

October 27, 2014 Comments off

The Equity Solution: Racial Inclusion Is Key to Growing a Strong New Economy (PDF)
Source: PolicyLink

America is quickly becoming a majority people of color nation. At the same time, inequality is skyrocketing and racial inequities—from the homogeneity of the tech sector to the segregated suburbs of St. Louis—are wide, persistent, and glaring. Equity—just and fair inclusion of all—has always been a moral imperative in this country, but a new consensus is emerging that equity is also an economic imperative. Scores of economists and institutions like Standard & Poor’s and Morgan Stanley now believe that rising inequality and low wages for workers on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder are stifling growth and competitiveness, and that racial inequities threaten economic growth and prosperity as people of color become the majority.

This brief offers new research to inform the debate about equity and the future of the American economy. Using data on income by race, we calculate what total earnings and economic output would have been for the nation in 2012 if racial differ en ces were eliminated and all groups had similar average incomes as non-Hispanic whites. This analysis does not assume that everyone has the same income, rather that the income distribu-tions do not differ by race and ethnicity. We also examine how much of the income gap is attributable to wage differences versus employment differences (measured by hours worked).

How Much (More) Should CEOs Make? A Universal Desire for More Equal Pay

October 22, 2014 Comments off

How Much (More) Should CEOs Make? A Universal Desire for More Equal Pay (PDF)
Source: Perspectives on Psychological Science (forthcoming)

Do people from different countries and different backgrounds have similar preferences for how much more the rich should earn than the poor? Using survey data from 40 countries (N = 55,238), we compare respondents’ estimates of the wages of people in different occupations – chief executive officers, cabinet ministers, and unskilled workers – to their ideals for what those wages should be. We show that ideal pay gaps between skilled and unskilled workers are significantly smaller than estimated pay gaps, and that there is consensus across countries, socioeconomic status, and political beliefs for ideal pay ratios. Moreover, data from 16 countries reveals that people dramatically underestimate actual pay inequality. In the United States – where underestimation was particularly pronounced – the actual pay ratio of CEOs to unskilled workers (354:1) far exceeded the estimated ratio (30:1) which in turn far exceeded the ideal ratio (7:1). In sum, respondents underestimate actual pay gaps, and their ideal pay gaps are even further from reality than those underestimates.

New From the GAO

October 21, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Combating Terrorism: Strategy to Counter Iran in the Western Hemisphere Has Gaps That State Department Should Address. GAO-14-834, September 29.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-834
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666199.pdf

2. Federal Paid Administrative Leave: Additional Guidance Needed to Improve OPM Data. GAO-15-79, October 17.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-79
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666565.pdf

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